|Starting v. UND|
Throughout camp, Hope called TerBush the starter for the first game because neither he, nor Marve, had changed position in camp due to the lack of full contact in practice. The inference seemed to be that last year's starter would be the starter because game situations were different...Fair point- they are.
That said, he and his assistants listed the depth chart as an "or" decision...meaning either could start depending on what happened in practice.
So, when TerBush, one of the team captains, was suspended for reasons that most still don't know, Marve was given the keys to the offense last Saturday. If you're on this site, you've probably already seen the stats that Marve produced...if you don't know, look them up- they were pretty damned good. During his opportunity to prove himself, he played 70% of the snaps v. EKU (with Henry taking the other 30%).
Atop of the extremely-tight depth chart situation, Hope and Nord have both said Marve has a potential to be an NFL quarterback...and they've never uttered those words about TerBush. And while we both know that a great college QB is not necessarily great in the NFL...the games are different. BUT, saying someone is an NFL talent is typically a compliment.
With all that said, Hope has named TerBush the starter for Saturday.
“It may be that it’s best for us to go into South Bend and make sure we manage the offense really well and that we don’t create any negative plays. If that means Caleb TerBush starts and Marve finishes, so be it. If that means Marve starts and TerBush finishes, so be it“
Based on that quote, one would think Marve creates too many negative plays. Also, Hope and company seem to believe that the defense can win the game in South Bend with an offense that isn't aggressive, but merely just manages the clock and field position, I guess.
On Saturday, Purdue will play an ND squad that just beat the tar out of Navy...based on what I saw Saturday from them, management of the game might not be quite enough.
Versus UND, both TerBush and Marve are 0-1; Marve started the game in SB, TerBush in God's country. So, I guess, since TerBush has never lost in South Bend, Hope thinks he gives Purdue a better chance of winning there (or maybe not losing)...I guess we could say he's undefeated there. Pretty fuzzy logic, it seems.
There are a couple of things that really confuse me about this whole situation.
Obviously, Hope and Nord's compliments to Marve, yet refusal to start him are odd. But not that big of a deal. We're fans of Marve and his style of play...we think his ability to escape the pass rush, move the pocket and still keep his eyes downfield give the offense a chance to do things a TerBush-led offense cannot. Plus, he has a bigger arm than TerBush. Granted, Marve makes poor decisions from time-to-time...but so did TerBush last season- He gave up costly sacks time and again due to his cautious demeanor, but that doesn't seem to bother Nord and Hope because he doesn't freewheel as much.
The question of the reason for the one-game suspension is also lingering with us. Hope has allowed players to get arrested and not miss action...so when a guy is suspended for the home opener, my antennae are up as I try to figure out what egregious error he made.
Could TerBush have worn an IU sweatshirt to a film session? Maybe #19 poked fun at Hope's mustache? Perhaps Purdue's starting QB talked badly about Carson Wiggs? Whatever he did, Hope didn't take it too lightly. But now, it's been forgotten as TerBush apologized to the team and the coaches for whatever-the-hell-it-was.
Here are facts we do know- TerBush lost a year with the team due to academic ineligibility. That was the year that Marve went down to an ACL and Henry was forced into the starting role...and when Henry's finger was crushed, Robinson played and then started (burning a redshirt). Does Hope think that was important?
He made a mistake, and strived to make it right- got his grades up, got back on the team and all was well. He started last year after Marve's knee held him back in camp and Henry tore an ACL of his own. He was made a captain by the coaches and the team this season...and officially became a leader of the team. Then, prior to the first game he did something to get suspended all while engaged in an intense battle to keep his starting QB role. To me, that doesn't sound like a leader...but I only know the parts of the story that Hope and co. allow me to know.
But, I'm not the only one who's making a call based on the info that's in front of me. And in the wake of what I saw from Marve last week, I have an extremely-difficult time in backing up Hope in this decision. If nothing else, my expectations for TerBush are now higher...and at the same time, the scrutiny upon the coach from an already-skeptical fanbase will become more pointed if TerBush doesn't deliver mistake-free football.
Marve, TerBush and Henry have all publicly said the right things during the last few seasons- good for them; that has to be hard. Hope continues to say all three will play, not only Saturday, but throughout the season...because the quarterbacks are 300% better than just one! But, I'd think decisions like this will make it even harder to continuously hold the team line for the three-headed monster of #19, #9 and #15. I honestly hope they can continue to do so. On top of that, I also hope that TerBush leads Purdue to victory in South Bend...for his coach's sake, he'd better.